News Release

U of M Crookston NACTA Team Finds Continued Success at National Judging Competition; Named Four-Year College Division Champions for 2010

By ltollefs on
Tuesday, April 20, 2010

NACTA Trophy presentation 8417.jpgContinuing theirlong-standing reputation for success at the North American Colleges andTeachers of Agriculture (NACTA) Judging Conference, the University ofMinnesota, Crookston won the four-year college division competition for 2010.The U of M, Crookston came out on top in a division that had 22 colleges anduniversities competing; the last time the Crookston Campus took home the honorwas in 2009. Redlands Community College in El Reno, Okla., hosted theconference on April 15-17.

Forty students from theCrookston Campus, representing a cross section of majors, participated in the eight contests making up the competition: Agricultural Computers, Crops, Dairy,Horse, Horticulture, Ag Knowledge Bowl, General Livestock andSoils. Two seniors, BillieJo Armbrust, Forest River, N.D., and Emily Espersen,Brainerd, Minn., coordinated the NACTA team by organizing fundraisers andplanning the trip to Oklahoma to compete. Seniors Bradley Kappes, Borup, Minn.,and Tony Dank, Sartell, Minn., were responsible for the annual car washes byNACTA team members to raise money for the trip.

One of the coaches for theteam, Rob Proulx, a lecturer in the Agriculture Department, praised thestudents for their hard work and dedication at a reception for the team heldMonday, April 19. "Our students can stand shoulder to shoulder with anyagriculture student from across the country," Proulx said. "We can compete withthe best."

Results of the NACTAcompetition include:

Computer Applications, 1st place team:  Kristin (Fjosee) Mio, Olympia, Wash., 1st place individual; Kari Olson, 2nd place individual, Lancaster, Minn.; Armbrust , 4th individual;  and Nicole Bauer, Breezy Point, Minn.

Quiz Bowl, 3rd place team: Isaiah Ulmer, Fullerton, N.D.; Espersen, Jacob Gerber, Elbow Lake, MInn.; Kendra Peterson, Sisseton, S.D.; and Ana Gustafson, Puposky, Minn.

Crops 3rd place team: Matt Coffman, Wheaton, Minn.; Brandin Solie, Fertile, Minn.; Craig Moen, Stephen, MInn.; and Cole Dimmler, Crary, N.D. Individual Participants: Jake Heggedal, Badger, Minn.; and Mark Riepe, Perham, Minn.

Dairy Judging: The team was 3rd place overall team; 2nd place ,Holstein Breed; 3rd place, Brown Swiss Breed; 3rd place, Jersey Breed; 3rd place, oral reasons; and 3rd place. genetic hybrids. Marissa McWilliam, Winger, Minn., 2nd place individual; Brown Swiss Breed; Mindy Nieuwboer , Kenneth, Minn.,2nd place individual;  Jersey breed; Tommy Borgerding, Belgrade, MInn., 3rd place individual; Brown Swiss breed; and Jacquie Schlangen, Belgrade, Minn.

Horse Judging, 3rd place team: Nick Pease, Trimont, Minn.; Peterson, Kari Buse, St. James, MInn.;  Megan Meyer, Wyoming, Minn.

Ag Business, 1st place team: Kappes, 2nd place individual; Brianna Kaschmitter, Sauk Rapids, Minn., 4th place individual; Amanda McNamee, Mahnomen, Minn.; and  Jacob Gerber, Elbow Lake, Minn. Individual Participants: Dank and Alysia Osowski, Grafton, N.D.

Livestock Judging Participants: Katie Schnneider, Delano, Minn.; Melinda Baszczynski, Earlham, Iowa; and Kristina Selzler, Rising Fawn, Ga.

Soils Team Participants: Skyler Holzbauer,  Breckenridge, Minn.; Jayden Rollness, Langdon, N.D.; Stephen Whalen, Oklee, Minn.; and Blake Smith, Mentor, Minn.

The computer application team was coached by Christo Robberts, instructor in the Business Department, and the livestock team was coached by Crystal Starr, a senior majoring in animal science from Bisbee, N.D. Other coaches were faculty in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department including Lyle Westrom, ADawn Melbye, Rob Proulx, Margot Rudstrom, Henry Wilson, and Terrill Bradford. 

NACTA team members include:

Isaiah Ulmer,junior, Fullerton, N.D.; Emily Espersen,senior, Brainerd, Minn.; Jacob Gerber,senior, Elbow Lake, Minn.; KendraPeterson, freshman, Sisseton, S.D.; AnaGustafson, freshman, Puposky, Minn.; BillieJoArmbrust, senior, Forest River, N.D.; KariOlson, junior, Lancaster, Minn.; Kristin(Fjosse) Mio, senior, Olympia, Washington; Nicole Bauer, sophomore, Breezy Point, Minn.; Matt Coffman, senior, Wheaton, Minn.; Brandin Solie, senior, Fertile, Minn.; Craig Moen, junior, Stephen, Minn.; Cole Dimmler, senior, Crary, N.D.; Jakob Heggedal, junior, Badger, Minn.; Mark Riepe, junior, Perham, Minn.; Marissa McWilliam, sophomore, Winger, MInn.; Mindy Nieuwboer, senior, Kenneth, Minn.; Tommy Borgerding, sophomore, Belgrade, Minn.; Jacquie Schlangen, senior, Belgrade, Minn.; Nick Pease, senior, Trimont, Minn.; Kari Buse, junior, St. James, Minn.; Megan Meyer, sophomore, Wyoming, Minn.; Bradley Kappes, senior, Borup, Minn.; Brianna Kaschmitter, senior, Sauk Rapids, Minn.; Amanda McNamee, senior, Mahnomen,Minn.; Tony Dank, senior, Sartell,Minn.; Alysia Osowski, junior,Grafton, N.D.; Katie Schneider,junior, Delano, Minn.; MelindaBaszczynski, senior, Earlham, Iowa; KristinaSelzer, sophomore, Rising Fawn, Ga.; SkylerHolzbauer, junior, Breckenridge, Minn.; Jayden Rollness, sophomore, Langdon, N.D.; Stephen Whalen, junior, Oklee, Minn.; Blake Smith, senior, Mentor, Minn.

NACTA is dedicated toadvancing the scholarship of teaching and learning in the agricultural,environmental, natural, and life sciences. NACTA competitions have been heldsince 1957 and involve knowledge and skills contests covering variousagricultural topics. The competition is rigorous, including college anduniversity students from all across the nation. To learn more, visit

Today the University ofMinnesota, Crookston delivers more than 25 bachelor's degree programs and 50concentrations, including several online degrees, in agriculture and naturalresources; arts, humanities and social sciences; business; and math, science andtechnology.  With an enrollment of about 1,300 undergraduates, theCrookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to aprestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. BigDegree."  To learn more, visit

In the photo (l to r): BillieJo Armbrust, Chancellor Charles H. Casey, Emily Espersen, and Ron Del Vecchio, Ph.D., during a reception held for the NACTA students on Monday, April 19, 2010.